Using Spotlight...for Development Conversations

Article author
Rachel Scriven
  • Updated

The Challenges for Managers

Becoming a manager is very often a difficult transition. People are typically promoted for competence and experience in their role as an employee, and then suddenly find themselves responsible for a group of people around them and requiring entirely different skills, mindset and priorities.

Managers who feel out of their depth are not alone. A quick google reveals the vast majority felt they needed more training when first they started.  

Spotlight for Development Conversations

It can feel very overwhelming knowing where to start when it comes to developing people. But most often, just having that conversation shows your intention and support. From there, it's about staying curious, ending with some clear agreed actions, and coming back to development little and often. 

Spotlight can make that conversation a LOT easier, using personality as an ongoing framework for personalised development.

A yearly development template often becomes a tick-box process which doesn't reflect that individual or their varied experiences and growth over that year. Effective managing is knowing and treating each person as an individual, and Spotlight helps you understand someone and plan much more meaningful development steps together. 


Here are just a few ways you could use Spotlight in a 1:1 development conversation ... 

Start by just being curious. Ask questions about their Spotlight and let them guide the conversation and tell you what they recognise in their Profile.

Use it to help them reflect on what they bring to the team and their role - what strengths are currently used, and which might not be?  How do they currently work within the team and others?

Spotlight frustrations can help open up conversations about tensions between people that stem from contrasting personalities. So people can see there is no right or wrong, just differences. 

Share your own report and explore where you are similar and different in your approach. This can help you adapt your communication and better understand what drives each others behaviour. 

Use it to help them identify a simple next development action. Spotlight offers focused development challenges which can be great starting points for considering a valuable stretch. Or use it to consider how their personality will help or hinder them with other development goals or projects. 


Having a report that is personal to them from the beginning that they physically take away with them, can help managers to empower their team members to be more responsible for their personal development. Managers can encourage people to take time to reflect, build their self-awareness and learning, and design their own development, and then take time to discuss their goals, how it's going and how they can further support this. 


There are tons of helpful tips for managers to develop individuals, but having a solid yet tailored framework to work from together can make a powerful difference in a conversation becoming to development conversation. 






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